Paul Lambert has already secured the signatures of Karim El Ahmadi and Matthew Lowton, but now Ron Vlaar and Tongo Doumbia could be targeted.
Having replaced Alex McLeish in June, former Norwich boss Lambert is now looking to rejuvenate the sleeping giant that is Aston Villa, and owner Randy Lerner is seemingly giving him permission to overhaul the squad to try and bring Villa back to glory.
Central midfielder El Ahmadi and right back Lowton have been the two signings so far to kick start the Lambert era, but now Rennes midfielder Doumbia and Dutch international centre back Vlaar could be the latest to enter Villa Park.
Doumbia, 22, is a strong defensive midfielder and has also been attracting the interest of Midlands rivals West Bromwich Albion in recent weeks. At 6’3″, the Malian international is a huge presence in the midfield and alongside El Ahmadi, they could create a formidable partnership in the Villa midfield – especially after talismanic skipper Stiliyan Petrov was diagnosed with leukaemia.
Meanwhile, Vlaar could become Villa’s third signing from the Eredivisie this summer after El Ahmadi and Brett Holman, an Australian winger that agreed to sign whilst under the stewardship of Alex McLeish.
Vlaar travelled with Holland to Euro 2012 and ended up playing a part in their calamitous exit in the group stages. Vlaar has however impressed for Feyenoord, who return to Champions League action this season.
Like Doumbia, Vlaar is an imposing figure at 6’2″, but I have my concerns over this deal. Richard Dunne and James Collins aren’t exactly fleet footed at the heart of Villa’s defence, and one of Vlaar’s main deficiencies is that he’s quite slow, making him susceptible to pace.
Whilst I think the Doumbia signing would be useful in the midfield, I’d rather Lambert took to developing youngster Ciaran Clark in defence rather than sign Vlaar.